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Old 03-04-2011, 10:44 AM
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Alignment Before or After New Tires--Does it Matter?

Hi, All,
I am going to be switching from run-flats to non-run flats soon. There is slightly more wear on the right side wheels than on the left, probably due to torn bushings and a worn control arm. The Big O Tires where I'm getting the tires from cannot align MINIs, so he is sending me to Network Alignment. Fine.

My question is this: Should I get the tires first and then go to the alignment place for the other work on the bushings and control arm, or should I get that work done first and THEN get the tires.

Does it matter if you get the alignment first when getting new tires, even switching out of run-flats to normal tires?

I have heard arguments on both sides from the garages (Network says it doesn't really matter what order you do it in), but would like to know what you all believe and why.

Thank you!
Paula
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:51 AM
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Vollgas Vollgas is offline
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Get tires first and then get all your bushing work & alignment done.
Don't drive on new tires very much until you get repair work done.
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Old 03-04-2011, 11:09 AM
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Hi, Vollgas,
The timing problem is this: Network doesn't stock MINI parts, so the parts might take a few hours or days to get. So, if I get the tires first, say tomorrow, then see Network, I'll have to drive 50 miles a day back and forth to work on the new tires.

If I get the alignment and the other work done first, and then get the tires, the alignment may be off for the new tires.

Argh!
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Old 03-04-2011, 11:17 AM
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Try this.
Get tires, don't get them mounted.
The alignment shop can probally mount them for you.
Then you get everything done at one time.
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Old 03-04-2011, 11:28 AM
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If your current "bad" alignment is not too bad, does not sound like it is, 50 miles is not going to hurt the new tires very much.
Better yet, why not go somewhere other than Big O for the tires, someplace that sells tires and does alignments. It would make things easier for you. If you have a written low tire price estimate from Big O, I would bet most other tire shops will match the price.
I use a local tire shop that sells tires and does alignments. They can also do suspension repairs. They will pretty much order any tire I want even if it is a brand they usually do not sale.
If Big O has alignment equipment, I do not know why they cannot align a Mini. Maybe it would be better not to do business with them.
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Old 03-04-2011, 04:22 PM
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Hi, Quickmni!

Big O says they can do most cars, but not Audis, BMWs, or MINIs (most German, higher-end cars). I appreciate their honesty. They are working on getting the modified equipment they need to accomodate these cars, but not for a few months.
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Old 03-04-2011, 04:31 PM
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Why not go to a different tire store that can do the alignment to make your life easier?
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Old 03-04-2011, 04:37 PM
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I guess my original question really had more to do with the general question of weather it matters or not when you do it. I've had mechanics argue both sides. I just wanted some opinions on which is really true.

If it doesn't really matter, then that frees me and a lot of other people up.

And I went to Discount Tire, and they couldn't do the MINIs either. They send MINI/BMW owners to an alignment shop down the street. lol
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Old 03-04-2011, 04:59 PM
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Don't worry about it....either way is fine. Not enough driving to warrant worrying about wear. Unless there is actual damage that needs to be worked on.
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Old 03-04-2011, 05:00 PM
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IMO, a few hundred miles won't matter one way or the other. Given that alignment is bases on the *wheels* and not the tires, I can't see how changing the tires afterwards would affect anything.
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Old 03-06-2011, 03:58 PM
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Paula,

Which tires and what size are you getting? Now is the time to pick some good ones. Can make a huge difference. Yokohama AVID ENVigors? If so then great.

Normally you should do the repairs on suspension first unless tires are bald and unsafe.

Then do tires and alignment at the same time or even alignment first.
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:44 AM
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Did it!

Well, this past Saturday I went ahead and got the tires first, then lower control arm bushings replaced, then the alignment. Worked out great.

The guy at the shop had to go get the bushings from MINI dealer, so he said I might as well go get the tires put on and then come back. Worked out good. It took him a total of 6 hours (I didn't leave the shop 'til 7 p.m.) to do the bushings and alignment (the bushings took a long time), plus tweaking, but they seem good.

Love the new Yokos--quieter and I'm already getting better gas mileage.

Yay!!
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:44 AM
 
 
 
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